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Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
Research in Water and Fascia
Micro-tornadoes, hydrogenated diamonds & nanocrystals
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
Several years ago, I wrote a series of articles for Massage Today on the topic of the then-recent and exciting research into fascia.1 As the Second International Fascia Research Congress approaches (Oct. 27 - Oct. 30, 2009) at the Vrije Universiteit or "Free University" of Amsterdam (http://www.fasciacongress.org/2009), it seems appropriate to return to some of the fascinating advances touched on in my earlier articles along with a few new exciting pieces of research - all of which reflect directly on the work of manual therapists.
Some of the key fascia-related topics covered in those earlier articles were:
In a 2005 study, German researchers, Schleip, et al,6 noted their discoveries on fascia: "The ability of fascia to contract is further demonstrated by the widespread existence of pathological fascial contractures. Probably, the most well-known example is Dupuytren disease (palmar fibromatosis), which is known to be mediated by the proliferation and contractile activity of myofibroblasts. Lesser known is the existence of similar contractures in other fascial tissues which are also driven by contractile myofibroblasts, e.g. plantar fibromatosis, Peyronies disease (induratio penis plastica), club foot, or - much more commonly - in the frozen shoulder with its documented connective tissue contractures. Given the widespread existence of such strong pathological chronic contractures, it seems likely that minor degrees of fascial contractures might exist among normal, healthy people and have some influence on biomechanical behavior."
Anyone using myofascial release approaches, or acupuncture, should be able to appreciate the potential therapeutic implications of these discoveries.
Amazing Crystalline Properties
And recently, even more evidence has emerged of the mysteries of fascia. For example, the behavior of water that interacts with protein in the human body is becoming clearer. In an article "Water is 'Designer Fluid' that Helps Proteins Change Shape, Scientists Say," Dr. Martin Gruebele, University of Illinois, explains: "Water in our bodies has different physical properties from ordinary bulk water, because of the presence of proteins and other biomolecules. Proteins change the properties of water to perform particular tasks in different parts of our cells. Water can be viewed as a 'designer fluid' in living cells." To read the full article go to: http://news.biocompare.com/newsstory.asp?id=239323.
Other research shows that interfascial water plays a key part in what is termed "protein folding," the process necessary for cells to form their characteristic shapes - and that nanocrystals are a part of this process - and that these are influenced by light. According to Sommer, et al7: "In the course of a systematic exploration of interfacial water layers on solids we discovered microtornadoes, found a complementary explanation to the surface conductivity on hydrogenated diamond, and arrived at a practical method to repair elastin degeneration, using light."
The leading researcher in this field, Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington professor of bioengineering, has shown that water can at times demonstrate a tendency to behave in a crystalline manner. He has discussed interfacial water in living cells known as vicinal water. Interfacial water exhibits structural organizations that differ from what is termed "bulk" water. This "vicinal" water seems to be influenced by structural properties that make up the cell. An example of this, and in relation to the water in a temperomandibular joint, Pollack states8: "The combined data from three different methods lead to the conclusion that all or almost all of the water in the intact disc is bound water and does not have properties consistent with free or bulk water."
For fascinating insight into water research, download the free video of Dr. Pollack's recent address at the University of Washington: http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rID=22222.
Fascia, Water and Manual Therapy
Several years ago, Klingler, et al9 showed that the water content of fascia partially determines its stiffness, and that stretching, or compression, of fascia (as occurs during almost all manual therapies), causes water to be extruded (like a sponge) - making the tissues more pliable and supple. After a while, the water is taken up again and stiffness returns, but in the meantime structures have been mobilised and stretched more effectively and comfortably, than if they were still densely packed with water.
Klingler, et al measured wet and dry fresh human fascia, and found that during an isometric stretch, water is extruded, refilling during a subsequent rest period. As water extrudes during stretching, temporary relaxation occurs in the longitudinal arrangement of the collagen fibers. If the strain is moderate, and there are no micro-injuries, water soaks back into the tissue until it swells, becoming stiffer than before.
All this suggests that much manual therapy and the tissue responses experienced, may relate to sponge-like squeezing and refilling effects in the semi-liquid ground substance, with its water-binding glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. Muscle energy technique, like contractions and stretches, almost certainly have similar effects on the water content of connective tissue, as do myofascial release methods, and the multiple force-loading elements of massage.
The speed with which research is uncovering the secrets of fascia is mind-boggling, and I hope to see you in Amsterdam to discover even more!
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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